Greenhouse Growing

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These plants will be ready for April planting outdoors. I can’t wait!

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Hanging baskets from scratch

This is one of my most satisfying gardening projects. I start petunias in January the transplant them into hanging baskets in March. They spend the next six weeks growing in the cool greenhouse before moving to their hanging location at the front of our home.

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I start with clean, reused plastic hanging basket. A coffee filter helps contain the potting mix but allows drainage.

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I put in a layer of mix the some pre moistened water saving crystals. Pre moistened is the key word here. If you forget this step, you could see an erupting soil volcano when they finally absorb water!

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Then I gently transplanted the petunias into the pots. The following is an example of a pot by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Blooming by the end of June.

Fall veggie gardening

This week in mid-August is when I typically finish up planting my fall and winter garden from seed.
These Sugar Snap Peas have been growing a few weeks.

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I have been busy harvesting some great tomatoes today: varieties Glacier and Stupice from Territorial seeds, started in February. These tomatoes will get roasted with olive oil and garlic (375* for 45 minutes) then cooled and put in the food processor to make sauce. So quick and easy.

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I am out of space in my raised beds and greenhouse raised bed so I am experimenting with these two rectangle containers that most people call flower boxes. I never have enough salad greens, so yesterday I planted a several types of lettuce, spinach and kale for baby salad greens. I expect these containers will end up in the greenhouse this fall.

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Fall and winter garden time

We just started harvesting the first tomatoes and cukes when it’s time to get ready for the fall and winter garden. This is our dry time of year in Western Washington, I have already drained two rain barrels and I wonder if the additional cost of city water will exceed the value of the veggies it will nurture. Maybe I should not think so deeply…
About four weeks ago I started two flats veggie seeds to transplant around the end of July. Broccoli, kale, brussel sprouts and swiss chard.

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I plan to grow the brussel sprouts in the greenhouse bed. That plant gets so tall and would be difficult to cover with Remay fabric later. The greenhouse will keep bugs away. I have had good luck in the greenhouse bed this season. Early lettuce, broccoli, then tomatoes and cucumbers. The photo shows the lemon cukes today. I trained them vertically to save space.

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Plant heads united

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Central Valley Garden Club went on another field trip but not to a public garden. I’ve heard about Watson’s Greenhouse and Windmill Nursery for two years now but the opportunity for a shopping trip did not present itself until now. What great places: Comprehensive garden centers with very healthy plants.

20130515-170419.jpg Recently I have been interested in succulents and they have great examples.

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Another plant craft Pinterest follow up

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Why look at drab terra-cotta pots when you can add color to the garden? One of the things I most enjoy about spring and summer is the return of color in the garden and this is an easy way to splash color.

To get started you might want to check Wal Mart garden center for cheap pot prices, but other places will have them on sale soon. Last year I painted the red pots and filled them with geraniums which wintered over in my green house. This spring I added the yellow ones. It’s easy. First you should use Thompson’s Water Seal on the inside and bottom of a new, clean terra-cotta pot. I used a cheap, foam brush to apply. Then I checked out the local Habitat for Humanity store for inexpensive paint. The outdoor yellow latex was under three bucks. I painted two coats of yellow and could have put on a third.

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I like unique, trendy plants and I also like to use them in prominent places, so here you see Proven Winners Lemon Slice Superbells. I saw this plant in a garden magazine a few months ago and have been on the hunt for it!

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The second yellow pot has Proven Winners Nemesia, Blue Bird and another generic orange Nemesia. Color! Contrast! Joy!

As seen on Pinterest

I have a folder on Pinterest that I call “I could do this”. Many of the items in the folder are container gardens and especially sedums in containers. Finding the right container is key to pulling off the planted crafty project: Wire basket was a Goodwill find for $2.99.

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The dried moss in the bag is a local, sustainable product at a hefty price of $14.99 but the bag will make many more for gifts. The few plants I purchased were $2.50 each. I am fortunate that the previous gardener planted many different sedum plants that I snipped for the project.

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I don’t have a potting bench but use a plastic bin to contain the mess when potting or seeding.

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I started with moss, then added the coffee filter and a bit of potting mix.

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Then I started planting and tucking in more moss.

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Like a lot of newly planted pots, this one needs to settle in a bit and grow but for my first project, I am pleased with the results.

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